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Difference Between a Smoker and a Grill



Who doesn’t love outdoor cooking? Feeling the breeze of the wind and the sun in your skin while you make some mouthwatering cuts for you and your family can’t compare to anything! And while everyone’s a fan of BBQs, we hardly know the different types of cooking outside on a grill.



If you’re new to this and you’re doing some research on what’s the best barbecue appliance to purchase, it’s common to feel confused when facing the aisle of smokers and grills. Do you know the difference between these two techniques? Do you know what makes them stand apart from each other and, most important, which one is the one you’d like to have at home? Don’t stress! In this article, we’ll review what are smokers, what are grills, and how they work so you get to pick the right one.


What is grilling?


Grilling is a technique that happens when you place a piece of meat at very high temperatures for a short period of time. A grill is also perfect for searing, which can only happen over very high heat.


When searing, the surface of the meat turns brown because it sort of caramelizes, bringing up the flavor of the meat, while killing any unwanted bacteria from the surface. The best thing about grilling is that your meat comes out with a clear taste and can be seasoned further to change the flavor. Since the heat of a grill is intense, meat must be cut into thin or small pieces so it cooks evenly.


What is smoking?


Smoking is a cooking process in which food is kind of preserved while it cooks. It involves very low heat, smoke, and extended periods of time in a completely closed setting. Experts say that the ideal temperature for a smoker to cook correctly ranges from 90F to 300F, and the meat is never in direct contact with the heat or flames. Instead, the chamber heats up at a consistent and even temperature, and the convection enclosed is what slowly cooks the meat from all angles at once.


The heat source of the smoker generates smoke, which impregnates the meat. The long cooking time makes it possible for the smoke to reach the innermost layers of the food, and the flavor will vary according to the wood you use.


The main differences.


So, as you can see, the main differences between a grill and a smoker can be summed up in cooking time, the temperature they both reach, the cuts of meat you can make on each one, and the fact that one needs wood smoke for added flavor.


A grill is perfect to cook small pieces of food such as chicken strips, chops, and small steaks, by reaching temperatures of 550F quickly and in short periods of time. A grill doesn’t leave food with an added taste of smoke.


A smoker, on the other hand, is perfect to cook large and tough pieces of meat such as brisket, ribs, and pork shoulder. The smoker acts slowly and at low temperatures of 300F for extended periods of time. The food cooked in a smoker comes out with an added “wood” flavor.